A gift (thanks M&P), my first Electric Prunes record is everything I’d imaged this legendary psychedelic band to be, and much, much more. Appropriately titled, Mass in F Minor, this 1968 release, composed by David Axelrod (of Cannonball Adderley and solo fame), takes a cocktail shaker, measures out two parts blues-meets-acid-rock, with equal parts Latin and Greek Catholicism, and mixes the shit out of these conflicting, and polar outlooks… but like, in a perfectly presentable and digestible offering (church puns…). A strikingly bold move for only the band’s third studio album, Mass in F Minor is a large pill to swallow, which, I imagine, is precisely, and distinctively the point. I look forward to other spinnings by this bold and talented group.
Man, I haven’t heard this Grammy winning “jazz-rock” album in what seems like three lifetimes. Released in December of 1968, the band’s self-titled sophomore effort carried with it three singles with And When I Die, Happy, and Spinning Wheel (which I just heard on AM radio this very morning), and was a commercially successful monster (quadruple platinum… that’s a shit-ton of records). Though the musicianship behind leader Al Kooper is, without question, on point (Kooper, you’ll remember, was part of the Super Sessions record, together with Mike Bloomfield and Steven Stills, released July of the same year) the album as a whole requires a certain mindset that isn’t necessarily anywhere close to default. A fun and insanely well-pieced collection, I’m happy to put BS&T back on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
I’ve yet to find a turntable where this reissue of Rainbow Ffolly’s debut, Sallies Fforth DOESN’T skip like a rock over a calming pond… I hesitate purchasing another copy, on principle alone, but I really want to enjoy this quirky and bubbly album. Until I can overcome my personal demons and pull that proverbial trigger, I’ll stick to the digital copy.
50 years in the making (not really, but sort of), this recent (as of late last month) behemoth of a celebration to The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society comes with everything you see here, and if you were one of the lucky first 1000 to preorder, you received a limited 7″ for Time Song, b/w The Village Green Preservation Society (Preservation Version). If you’ve got the space, this fully-loaded box of essential goodies is a Kinks lover’s dream.
I’m a little reluctant to write about Don Preston and his 1968 debut, Bluse as I feel the story is deserving of more time than I currently have (or am willing) to give to it, save to say, it wasn’t anything that I thought it was, in the best way possible. Purchased as a joke, whose backstory will be saved for another time, I foolishly discovered that Mr. Preston is (still alive) a stellar guitarist, and has played with some of the very best: Rick Nelson, George Harrison, JJ Cale, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, The Righteous Brothers, and Ritchie Valens, to name a short few. Bluse is classic blues-rock (bluse-rock?), and is as anything spectacular as you would think, having read the list of unquestionable legends above.
It’s the little things that uncover themselves, often without prompting, that make writing for The Groove so amusing. Mike Post, award-winning television theme music composer (famous for The A-Team, Magnum, P.I., Doogie Howser, M.D., CHiPs, Hardcastle and McCormick, NewsRadio, Quantum Leap, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The Rockford Files, NYPD Blue, The Greatest American Hero, and of course, Law & Order) won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for the playful, finger-pickin’ 1968 single by Mason Williams titled, Classical Gas. Mr. Williams, then the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, would also take home two Grammys of his own for the song, which was originally titled Classical Gasoline (artistic and virtuosic fuel for classical guitarists). The track appears as the first song on side B of the featured album, The Mason Williams Phonograph Record (Warner Bros. – Seven Arts Records, Cat. No. WS 1729).
Back in 1968, record producer and conductor Dominick P. Costa (Don) released a 10-track album of instrumental Simon and Garfunkel songs titled, Don Costa’s Instrumental Versions of Simon and Garfunkel. All the hits are here (Feelin’ Groovy, Mrs. Robinson, I Am A Rock, etc.), and as a whole, Don Costa’s Instrumental Versions of Simon and Garfunkel is a welcoming and approachable take on these unforgettable 1960s classics. Certainly not one for a frequent spin, these 10-tracks come in handy when the subtle weight of S&G have hit their limits.
1969’s best selling album (in the US), was also the second studio effort by San Diego psychedelic rock Gods, Iron Butterfly. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the song, occupies the entire second side of the record, and clocks in at a whopping 17:05. Atlantic Records wouldn’t see a more successful album until the release of Led Zeppelin’s IV in 1971. Which begs the question, why has it taken me so long to obtain this piece of modern rock history?!
A familiar sight to many of you who own, what I’ll argue to be, one of the top 10 recorded pop albums of all time. Van Morrison’s 1968 Astral Weeks is a timeless, immortal collection of eight tracks broken into two parts: In the Beginning (side A) and Afterwards (Side B). Though Astral Weeks is technically Mr. Morrison’s second studio record, it is, without question, his first, and best album.
The only other album that I’ve ever heard to legitimately rival The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968, The Kinks) is, of course, Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies (1968). Newbury Comics did an exclusive run back in 2015 of 1000 on… let me look it up because, you know, accuracy… “Red, Blue & Yellow Haze” vinyl. It’s no longer available on Newbury’s site (though I highly recommend their limited run exclusives), but as with most anything, it can be found over at Discogs. If you’ve got the green for some red, blue and yellow, we suggest this amazing and limited reissue.
I was beside myself with excitement back in 2015 for this Record Store Day release of Rainbow Ffolly’s 1968 debut, Sallies Fforth… that was until I realized that it skipped on all three of my turntables. Brand new, extracted from beneath the cellophane coffin myself, and she skips… multiple times. This led me to believe, or at least consider, that it may be time to up the quality of my “everyday” turntable. So, once the fog of damage that is my car repair bill finally settles, it’ll be turntable hunting time. I guess it would be cheaper just to buy another copy of this classic psychedelic album, but I’m not one for taking chances.
The Timmy Vig Orchestra’s 1968 The Sound of the Seventies boasts a very presumptuous title… not to say it wasn’t completely spot on (redundant, I know… but I’m sticking with it). Anyway, I was going to dive into this elaborate concoction about how this is how the seventies SHOULD have sounded and blah, blah, blah, but then I ran into personal, and very time consuming issues. I’ll have to circle back on this one, because she’s an essential grab.
Little known fact… I did not know that Steve Miller, Milwaukee, WI native, was the Godson of guitar legend Les Paul. I’m not surprised, per se, but it is an interesting fact. It just so happened that I found The Steve Miller Band’s sophomore studio album (pictured here) at a Goodwill near the Milwaukee area, some several years ago. With a beautiful cover, Sailor featured the last appearance from original band member, Boz Scaggs. The more you know.
Death of a Clown received an outstanding rerelease on this Dave Davies Hits 7″ for 2016’s Record Store Day. One of three Kinks releases, Dave Davies Hits also contains the personal fav, Susannah’s Still Alive. I, of course, say this with all due respect, but thankfully, Dave’s personal career didn’t take off in 1968. Village Green, Lola, Arthur, and Muswell were all to follow, and I for one can’t imagine what they would have been without master Dave on the 6-string.
I was all excited to post about my favorite Beatles album on an obscure and improbable medium… until I test them out. Part 1 works like a champ, but Part 2 done do shit! I contacted the seller and he suggested that the tape may have flipped over… not at all sure what this means. Anyway, White Album party will have to wait for the damn Part 2 to get its shit together.